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Author Topic: [Off Topic] Terrible gas mileage  (Read 2519 times)
Mex-Busnut
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« on: September 14, 2011, 08:50:16 AM »

Dear friends,

We are half way between Oklahoma City and Tulsa on our way to Madison, Wisconsin. Vehicle is a 1995 GMC Astro, 4.3 liter V-6. So far, we have had to replace the radiator, a/c compressor, a/c fan.

We did change:

--Spark plugs
--Spark plug cables
--Air filter
--Gas filter
--PCV valve
--Oil and filter
--Distributer cap
--Rotor

This is a 2-wheel-drive minivan, and yet we are only getting 17 mpg. It has not used any oil since central Mexico oil change. My Dad had an identical van, and could count on 25 mpg. We are keeping it T 65 mph. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
belfert
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 08:56:40 AM »

17 MPG is about all I would expect from that van.  Maybe you could get another MPG or two, but that would be it.  Your dad was lucky to get 25MPG from an Astro.  The Astro is a rear wheel drive vehicle with a pretty good size engine.  A similiar FWD Dodge Caravan from that era would get maybe 21 MPG, but it also has a smaller 3.3L engine.

The latest minivans (all FWD) are getting 24 to 25 MPG, but a lot of work has been done to improve mileage.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 09:00:24 AM »

Loaded heavy with family and daughter's stuff for college?

I seriously doubt you'll see much more than that out of it while loaded.

I'm sorry to hear your having such difficulties on your trip.

Also you added about 60 miles & tripled your tolls going up thru OKC. But it was all interstate that way!

Good luck on the rest of the trip.
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
trucktramp
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 09:13:20 AM »

You will probably not need the a/c as you get further north.  Local forcast is calling for temps in the 50's during the days and 30's at night. Brrr
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Dennis Watson
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CrabbyMilton
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 09:30:59 AM »

That's normal MPG for a vehicle like that. Other factors are how heavy or light your foot is. Smiley My work van is a 2007 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN with a 3.3L V6 and that thing never gets better than 17( stop and go mostly with brief highway) and you have a bigger engine. Those ASTRO's were good solid vans so at least you aren't in a little corn popper AVEO, SMART, MINI COOPER type car.
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 11:55:05 AM »

  Was it getting better mileage in Mexico? We put a lot of strange additives in our Gas up here, somehow those EPA morons feel burning more fuel makes the air cleaner. And many people also notice fuel economy gains when buying fuel out in rural areas away from big cities. Too, while were supposed to have 10% methanol, it can often be close to 20%, cars run for crap on that mixture.

  One example is a friend had a Plymouth Sundance. Just a lil car with a lil non turbo motor, never saw more than 16-17 with it. Was outstate one time couple years back, and filled up the tank, car immediately jumped over 25 mpg. After refilling back home back to crap mileage. He started looking for excuses to drive out to the boonies to get fuel. Our Ford Expedition never got more than 12 mpg back in MN running flatland. Its almost always in the 14-15 range now running these Ozark hills. Maybe buy your fuel in between the big cities???
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skihor
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 12:04:30 PM »

Ethanol/Methanol bad for gas mileage and hard on all fuel system related parts.

Don & Sheila
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Tevo
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 02:03:09 PM »

  Was it getting better mileage in Mexico? We put a lot of strange additives in our Gas up here, somehow those EPA morons feel burning more fuel makes the air cleaner. And many people also notice fuel economy gains when buying fuel out in rural areas away from big cities. Too, while were supposed to have 10% methanol, it can often be close to 20%, cars run for crap on that mixture.

  One example is a friend had a Plymouth Sundance. Just a lil car with a lil non turbo motor, never saw more than 16-17 with it. Was outstate one time couple years back, and filled up the tank, car immediately jumped over 25 mpg. After refilling back home back to crap mileage. He started looking for excuses to drive out to the boonies to get fuel. Our Ford Expedition never got more than 12 mpg back in MN running flatland. Its almost always in the 14-15 range now running these Ozark hills. Maybe buy your fuel in between the big cities???

I'm glad you posted this as I was beginning to think I was crazy. In my truck in Florida I never got over 13mpg, but I've found in some areas outside the state it jumps up to 16-17mpg with no obvious explanation.
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 02:20:03 PM »

The laws of physics don't seem to jive with a lot of reports I see about ethanol and gasoline.  I've seen people say they get 10%, 15%, or even 20% less mileage when using gasoline that is 10% ethanol?  So, if you get 10% less mileage you're getting zero energy from the ethanol.  At 15% or 20% mileage loss you apparently are losing energy from the ethanol.

Now, if you said you lost a few percent from 10% ethanol I would believe you.  I've never noticed much difference from tank to tank on my fuel mileage.  I don't travel out of state too often, but my mileage doesn't ever vary too much.  I might get 28 MPG one tank and 29 or 30 the next tank, but a lot depends on highway versus city driving.

I have gotten really bad mileage at times in the winter, but it always happens right after a big snow storm when it takes an hour to drive 13 miles to work.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 03:09:36 PM »

Take this for whatever it's worth but since I switched to 100% synthetic oil in both my work van and personal car, my mileage slightly improved.
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gus
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2011, 03:37:54 PM »

Your Dad was probably figuring kilometers to the gal!!
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Gary '79 5C
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2011, 03:40:53 PM »

Tire air pressure  ? ? ? ?

Wife had a Town & Country Van large V6 and never got above 20.

Good Luck
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 03:50:56 PM »

ethanol and alcohol take alot larger amount of fuel to run for the same amount of time as gas.   A engine will only run for about half as long on alcohol then gas= crap milleage.

Did you get E85 by chance?

17mpg is average tho for your vehicle as already stated..
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belfert
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 04:12:45 PM »

My parents have run their Chrysler minivan on E85 from time to time.  It gets about 20% lower mileage on E85.  Mileage drop is nowhere near 50%.  I don't think they have bought E85 in a while for some reason.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Bill B /bus
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 05:19:05 PM »

Guys and gals,

1987 Ford Aerostar XLT with a 5 speed manual - around town 23-24 MPG. Highway 25-27 MPG. At 197K miles, just before trade in, from Wisconsin to Maine, in early March with snow to eastern Indiana, got 23 MPG for the trip.  This was mostly pre ethanol addition. 

Ethanol seems to really hurt the fuel mileage on some engines more than others.

Bill
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Bill & Lynn
MCI102A3, Series 50 w/HT70
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